NJSIAA Winter and Spring Sports Update – Guidelines and Timelines

NJSIAA Winter and Spring Sports Update - Guidelines and Timelines

WINTER SPORTS UPDATE (Seasons 2, 2A, and 3)

If it were a normal year, winter sports would be starting as planned, if not already underway. However, with COVID-19 still among us, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) has provided many new rules for both the winter and spring season. These regulations were made in accordance with all orders made by Governor Phil Murphy in order to safely have play while also keeping the players, coaches, and all others involved at minimal risk. 

With the holiday season being a high travel time, the dates of competition for winter sports have significantly changed compared to other years. For basketball, bowling, and fencing, practices will not be starting until January 11th. Ice Hockey was supposed to start December 14th, but with cases climbing in recent weeks and stronger regulations from Governor Murphy, it will follow a similar schedule with the other sports. Competition will commence for the winter season (season 2) on January 26th and end by early March. Only three games will be allowed per week, which will add up to fifteen total for the full season, including league/conference tournaments. Just like the fall season, there will be no NJSIAA sponsored post-season tournament/event. 

Skiing, the only outdoor winter sport, will follow a more normal schedule. While not listed specifically by the NJSIAA, the team will be able to start their dry-land training on December 14th. Races will start January 8th ending around late February/early March. W4K (Winter 4 Kids), previously known as Hidden Valley, and Mount Peter will host their races.

The other primary winter sports, swimming and winter track and field, have been giving their own season: 2A. Their schedule will look a little different compared to the ones previously explained, but done deliberately in order to ensure the safety of athletes and all other personnel. Practices for these sports will not start until February 1st, with competition commencing on the 16th. Winter track and field and swimming will end around March 27th. The rules about the amount of competition events allotted per week will apply for season 2A as well. 

Season three—consisting of girls volleyball, gymnastics and wrestling—is set to start just as winter sports (seasons 2 and 2A) are wrapping up. Volleyball and gymnastics, normally fall sports, have been pushed to early spring as they were deemed high-risk in the fall following an executive order from the Governor. Wrestling was also deemed high-risk and was added to season 3 in order to allow for more time and safe competition. These sports will start practices on March 1st with competition beginning on the 16th and ending April 24th. Season 3 will also not have any NJSIAA sponsored postseason, and will follow all other guidelines in seasons 2 and 2A. 


After being cancelled in 2020, the NJSIAA is doing everything possible to ensure a spring season in 2021. The task force released the timeline for spring sports on December 11th. Keep in mind that these dates are subject to change as regulations are constantly being adjusted by Governor Murphy to ensure the safety of all.

Both the Girls and Boys golf teams will be permitted to start virtual meetings on March 1st, with in-person practices starting the first of April. Since golf is not considered a strenuous sport, matches will start on April 9th and will conclude no later than June 20th. The NJSIAA postseason has not been announced as of now and updates are to come as it gets closer. 

Boys tennis will start virtual meetings on March 1st as well. Their practices will begin on March 26th, with competition commencing April 19th. Their season will run until June 20th with an NJSIAA postseason that will be determined at a later date. 

For all other spring sports—lacrosse, softball, baseball, track and field, and boys volleyball—virtual meetings will also be held starting March 1st, with practices starting April 1st. For softball and baseball, pitchers and catchers practices will start March 26th. Games will start on April 19th and will run through June 20th. Their NJSIAA postseason will run from June 1st to June 20th. 


For any additional information regarding winter and spring high school sports please visit the NJSIAA website.